Coromandel MP Sandra Goudie has announced she will retire from politics after this year’s election.
Sandra won the seat from then-Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in 2002. This was a notable achievement when the tide was so strongly against National and meant the Greens have since then had to rely on winning 5% of the party vote to stay in parliament.
It was difficult to miss Sandra in her brightly coloured Falcon and her successive election margins showed she was a popular and effective local MP.
“After nine fantastic years serving the people of the Coromandel,” Ms Goudie says, “it’s time to park up the Falcon.
“I shall always treasure driving my faithful purple Ford Falcon V8 through our electorate – Coromandel Town, Whitianga, Thames, Whangamata, Paeroa, Waihi, Te Aroha, Katikati and Waitoa, and places in between. We have a beautiful electorate and great people.”
Ms Goudie says her greatest contribution to Coromandel has been her open-door policy for constituents.
“People’s political preferences have never stopped me helping them,” Ms Goudie says.
“My staff and I have helped countless people in Coromandel. I would like to say a big thank you to my staff for their work and dedication over the years.
“On a personal level, I was proud to win the Coromandel seat back for National. I now hold the tenth highest electorate majority in New Zealand following the 2008 election, of which I am also very proud, and acknowledge all those who have helped me to achieve that.
“I was elected in 2002, and a lot has happened since then. The construction and opening of the Whangamata Marina was an emotional experience for all of us. Since it opened, a number of people originally opposed to it have said to me it’s been terrific for the area.
“The progress we’ve made with the Kōpū Bridge has been exciting, and now we’re waiting for it to be finished next year. I’m also proud of giving people a voice about mangroves in Coromandel. Sadly bureaucrats have been slow to move on this issue.
“It has been a real honour to serve as MP for Coromandel, and to be part of the National-led Government which is doing great things for New Zealand. Thank you to all the people who have supported me through the years.”
Very little of the hard work local MPs do for their constituents gets noticed by the media or public. Kiwiblog writes of one of her campaigns.
Not all MPs will make it in to Cabinet but those who like Sandra help countless constituents and stand up for local issues also make a very valuable contribution to the country.
The selection for the seats will be keenly contested and help with the on-going refreshment of the National caucus.